Getting Back to Dating After a Long-Term Relationship Part 1

Posted by on March 27th, 2017 in Dating advice
Long Term-Relationship

If you’re reading this article, chances are you began the year basking in happiness because your happily ever after was unraveling. You had plotted out your year. A bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, weekend getaways from the hustle and bustle of the city, a special dinner at home on your significant other’s birthday, and a trip to paradise on your anniversary. You also were saving up for that beautiful diamond ring at Tiffany’s that you want to offer as you get down on your knees and ask if she would like to spend the rest of her life with you. There was no one else in the other world that you could imagine waking up next to every morning and kissing before you go to bed every night.

You were so certain that she felt the same way. You were so confident that she would say yes. But she didn’t. You probably didn’t even get the chance to ask that four-word question because she had called it quits while you were still waiting for the right time.

Your world came crashing down on you.

The days, weeks, and months following the breakup were worse than a nightmare because you were living in it. You cried rivers of tears that, if frozen, you could skate into the moon. Your heart was broken into a million shards that you doubt it could feel love again. Friends and family offered you their sympathies. They told you to put yourself out there. But you’re not that kind of person. You refused to use someone else to help you get over the person you, no doubt, still love.

You want only one thing – one more chance with the person you love. But she no longer wants you. So, you find yourself crying more tears. This time, they could fill an entire ocean. One day, you realize that there’s no use pining for a person who used to love you. You make the courageous decision to open your heart again. But you spent the previous years in a relationship, and now you find yourself absolutely clueless.

When you started dating your former lover, either you probably had no idea that the online dating scene existed or you couldn’t imagine such thing coming into existence.

You’re scared. You ask your friends and family when the perfect time is to get back to dating after a long-term relationship. Some will say three months while others will tell you after a year because you need to work on yourself first. But the truth is that there’s no one singular answer to this question.

There also are a variety of things that need to be taken into consideration. If your previous relationship was a marriage that ended in divorce, did you and your partner part ways on good terms? Do you maintain a presence in each other’s life as friends? Do you have children? What were the problems that fueled your separation? If some of these problems were yours, what changes have you committed to better yourself?

The good thing is that a person’s previous relationship is hardly indicative of the success of their next relationship.

If there ever is a right answer, it would be to get back to dating whenever it feels right for you and you can admit to yourself that you won’t be hurting anyone along the process of finding new love. The surprising thing about not hurting other people when you’re in search of a new love is that you still might wind up causing someone pain even if it isn’t your intention.

Here are some other things you should know when getting back to dating after a long-term relationship:

1) Find Who Yourself Is As A Single Person

The best thing about being in a relationship is that you and your significant other melt into this singular entity. It’s not just a pop song cliché. Two people certainly can become one.

But relationships are also about compromise. You gain new hobbies with your sweetheart and you also lose time to spend on the hobbies you were once so intensely passionate about before you meet your former lover.

After the breakup, you realize that no matter how much you enjoyed the hobbies and interests that you shared with your ex-lover, doing them all by yourself feels strange. It’s either because you got so used to doing those things as a couple or doing them now only wakes up the sad memories and the wounds.

Another realization you might come across is that your hobbies and interests that kept you occupied prior to your relationship feel like the hobbies and interests of a different person. That’s not surprising because who you were before the relationship and who you were during the relationship are practically two versions of yourself.

That’s why many people suggest that you get back in touch with the things that you were once so passionate about when all you cared about was yourself. Yes, you have changed and gained a certain level of maturity. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will erase each and every trace that your previous relationship has left on you. Think of it as hitting two birds with one stone. In the process of rediscovering your old hobbies, you become an interesting person and it opens up doors that lead to meeting people who share your interests.

2) Don’t Expect Dating To Be Like In The Movies

You probably spent a great deal of time binge watching romantic movies in hopes of finding inspiration and motivation to open your heart to the possibility of loving again. Those movie characters surely face their own challenges when it comes to dating, but you should remind yourself that not every aspect of the dating process is demonstrated in romantic comedies.

No matter how much you can relate to those fictional characters, you need to remember that they are not real and that your dating experiences after a long-term relationship will not mirror the number of romantic comedy movies you have unabashedly familiarized yourself with.

Doing so often results in major disappointment. You spend your night with a lovely lady. She’s kind, she’s passionate, and she’s beautiful. You can feel the warmth of her heart, but you keep waiting for figurative fireworks to appear out of nowhere.

So, you find yourself on a different night with a different girl. She’s kind, she’s passionate, and she’s beautiful. You have a lot of fun during your date, and you conclude your night with a kiss. During this display of instant affection, your eyes are closed yet you can see the fireworks that you’ve been waiting for.

However, after the second or third date, the sparks that were ignited on your first date are all gone except for the ashes.

The lesson here is to not let impatience get in the way of finding your new love. Just because there are no immediate sparks and fireworks on your first date doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t ever be. It may be tough to remember it, but the truth is building chemistry with another person does take time.

3) Prepare Yourself To Survive Through A Dozen Or So Date Nights

No, this doesn’t mean that you have to turn yourself into one of those people who date because they have nothing else better to do with their free time. You aren’t turning into a serial dater.

Online dating has made it possible to meet new people easily, in spite of their busy schedules. There’s no longer the need to hang out at a bar or take your kids to school every single time in hopes of meeting someone. You can use that time to work on yourself.

Dipping your toes in the online dating scene is one of the most practical ways to find a new love. All you need to do is sign up and look at various online dating profiles to find which ones you think you’ll be compatible with before actually asking them out on a date.

Apart from saving you a lot of time, this also spares you from embarrassing encounters with people who might look fine but turn into one-person horror shows the moment they open their mouth.

Think of dating a series of women before finding the right one as looking for the Queen of Hearts in a shuffled deck of cards. If you’re really lucky, the Queen of Hearts will be the first card you pull from the deck. But that rarely happens. Often, people have to keep pulling cards from the deck before they have on their hands the Queen of Hearts.

There’s a huge possibility that the first person you’ll date won’t be the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. And just because the first half dozen or nine dates are horrible doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost for you. Pick your chin up and don’t let your heart surrender.

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